A proposal isn’t a man’s job (3 reasons why)

We've all heard about a proposal gone bad. They might not all be viral worthy, but men flop on popping the question more than we realize. According to the Daily Mail, a new survey says 21% of engaged, married or divorced women were disappointed in their proposal.

On top of that, an engagement is so much more than a proposal. It's a promise to enter into a marriage together. And marriage, my friends, is long. Or at least it's supposed to be, but we all know that's not always the case. The CDC says more than half of marriages end up in divorce.

Yet when it comes to this big decision of getting engaged, and ultimately married, the responsibility heavily falls on the guy when in a heterosexual relationship. And yes, the girl has the freedom to say no, but it's much harder to when there's a big, sparkly ring looking at you, and you're saying in your head "we were probably eventually going to get married anyway".

This post is meant to inspire women wanting to get married some day to speak up and be proactive in all aspects of their relationship--including the proposal!

No, future brides, I'm not saying you're the one who should propose, although I would cheer you on if that's your thang. I'm not even saying it shouldn't be a surprise. I'm saying you should be ready and know what you're signing up for. And, he should know what your style is to help make this big moment so special.

Here are my 3 reasons why a proposal isn't a man's job only:

1) You need to do your pre-proposal work

I've known couples who didn't start talking "marriage stuff" until after they've made the promise to marry. Sound backwards, right? It's important both parties do the pre-proposal work by asking lots of questions and really getting to know the other person. Coming from a divorced family where my parents have each rushed into more than one marriage, I decided to take a different approach. I knew my now-fiance for 10 years, and we started talking about topics pertinent to marriage early on while dating. Everything from religion, to politics, to career goals, to kids... city or suburb... toilet seat up or down... We've talked about it. Not sure if you've covered all your bases? Huffington Post has a great list on what every couple should talk about before getting hitched.

2) You need to be ready

Just because you found "the one," doesn't mean you're ready to be engaged right now. Timing is really important. Perhaps there are things you wanted to do before you get engaged like: travel, accomplish certain goals, be financially stable, have some more independence, get to know him better, etc. Or maybe you just aren't ready. That's totally fine. Being on your own is not only fun, it's a crucial stage in your development. There is nothing wrong with continuing to date "the one" and wait for marriage, or for some people, not get married at all. Just make sure you're on the same page with your partner about when/if you'll be ready.

TIP: Don't let your friends getting married put pressure on you. Marriage does not complete you. If you're with the right one, it can certainly add to your happiness. However, if you're not, it can be your next nightmare. Enjoy the stage you're in, because you'll never get it back. Trust me, you'll get your turn to walk down the aisle.

3) He needs to know your style

Even though the proposal is much more than a ring and popping the question, these two things should fit your style. I don't know about you ladies, but I wouldn't even trust my man to pick out my outfit for a day, let alone to pick out something I'll wear for the rest of my life on my left finger! It's really important future brides at least give their groom an idea of what kind of rings they like. Round or princess? Diamond or sapphire? You get the drill! I personally decided to pick mine out. I wanted something really unique, and my guy was thankful for the guidance.

Also, it's a big purchase coming from finances that will soon be combined. Everyone has different values regarding how/where to spend their money, and it would be nice for you two to agree upon a budget for your ring.

He should also be familiar with what style proposal you would want. A lot of times he can figure it out from knowing you well, but maybe you've always dreamed of a certain season, location or always wanted your family to be there. In my case, my guy knew a public proposal would be the worst idea ever, so he could check a ballpark proposal off his list.

Here's the bottom line--speak up! If he's "the one," you should be able to comfortably tell him your thoughts and preferences.

1 Response

  1. Interesting column Alexandra, thanks for sharing. I seem to recall an argument you had once before about this same topic;)